Can You Achieve Work/Life Balance as a Startup or Business Owner?
April is National Stress Awareness Month, and while entrepreneurship and owning a small business can be very stressful, it certainly shouldn’t rule your life. You CAN take a vacation again, you CAN have free time, and you CAN be successful. You CAN do this. Don’t forget it!
We’re sure you’ve seen the many different articles and blogs out there about whether work/life balance is attainable. Some say you just have to work at it, some say it’s not possible to achieve. It depends how you look at the situation. Regardless of whether you take the optimistic outlook or not, finding any sort of balance in your life is important to your mental, physical, and emotional health. By aiming to keep the stress at a minimum and the happiness high, you’ll be able to get as close to a work/life balance as you can.
Balance is Different for Everyone
You can manage business ownership and continue to build and grow your life outside of the business itself. A good way to think about this “balance” that is so sought after is to frame it simply. Ask yourself, “what am I going to do today?” Every day, you make choices, and you choose where, how, and with whom you spend your time. Of course, running your business is important, and work will sometimes hold the top priority in your day, but it’s up to you to foster relationships and spend time elsewhere. At the end of the day, you are in charge of allocating your time.
Top Tips for Managing Stress & Striving for Balance
Unplug. This one is arguably the most important today. The time spent staring at our phones, tablets, and computers is not only unhealthy for our eyes and our minds, but can be detrimental to our ability to live in the now. If your job revolves around your phone, as it so often does these days, at least schedule in a block of time each day to put it down. Be present. See the people around you. The emails will still be there when you pick it back up.
Respect your body. Get active. Walk to lunch. Ride your bike to the local park. Take up a new fitness class you’ve always wanted to try. There is no better time than right now to get healthy and to keep stress in check. So often, stress can be managed through exercise and other activities that both get you moving and relax you. The go go go mentality is fun, but it’s also important to wind down. Try things like meditation or a few deep breaths throughout the day, and of course, make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
Learn to say no. You owe it to yourself to know your limits, and stick to them. Whether it’s the physical signs your body is giving you from too much stress, or you just have too much on your plate. We get it, as entrepreneurs, we want to take on the world. But we need to realize that often it is too much to handle every single day. Do what you can, and do your best. If you keep yourself on top of the projects and the things that you dedicate yourself to, without spreading yourself too thin, you’ll do better work and feel better about it, too.
And, learn to say yes. Disney World? Yes. Weekend hiking trip? Yes. Dinner with your kids? Yes. As business owners, the business world is important to us. It’s a huge part of who we are and how we live our lives. But it can’t be everything. Again, the emails will still be there. Say yes to taking breaks, to taking the occasional nap, to reading books you enjoy, and to spending time with the people and the things you love.
Learning how to say no to things you don’t want to do, or you really do not have to do, and saying yes to things you do want to do, are the first steps to finding any sort of balance in life. Prioritizing your health and your body is another important aspect of balance. And, staying in the present moment as much as possible is essential. This National Stress Awareness Month, GROW hopes that you pay attention to your body, to your mind, and to your spirit, and that you use the fiery desire you possess to succeed in business to also push you to flourish in life.
How Can We Help You Find Balance?
If you’d like to learn more about ways to help separate your business and personal life, or are looking for support in finding balance you need, consider taking some of our training programs or connecting with us for mentorship opportunities. You can view all upcoming events here, or contact us to learn more.